Friday, August 21, 2015

'Did you say cheese' at the Tanglewood Wine & Food Classic 2015 by Philip S. Kampe

Well, Tanglwood did it again.

Music has been Tanglewoods mantra for years, but, once a year, the staff under the guidance.of Debbi Otto, prepared themselves for a deluge of food and wine lovers.

Music, of course, ties into the weekend interest, but, from noon to three in the afternoon, the Hawthorne Tent at Tanglewood is at full capacity with a thousand joyous visitors who partake in the remarkable wine and food festival.

This year was no exception.

Attendees lines up more than half an hour in advance to secure tastes from the numerous vendors who wait for the consumers to sample their wares. This year was no different.

With a green wrist band in place and noon as the starting point, both the vendors and consumers knew that the next three hours would change their lives, even though just temporarily.

The Hawthorne Tent was like a circus tent...acts in every ring. Food vendors, wine vendors and the stages that were home to the demonstration chefs.

One of my backgrounds is cheese. I was a cheese writer for Trrance Brennan, owner of Artisanal Cheese and Picholine restaurant in Manhattan. Max McCalman, the 'Top Cheese Educator in America' was one of the stars of the day under the Hawthorne Tent. He was cutting cheese for the consumers, while educating them about the assets of each cheese they sampled.

Max was backed up. The line grew in numbers, mainly due to his fame. People recognized Max. Mr. McCalman asked for my help, which I gladly consented to. I grabbed a cheese knife, a pair of latex gloves and began my task. It was like deja vu ,once again. As I was giving samples, I explaind the historically background of the cheese, what it pairs with and where it came from. After nearly five hundred slices of cheese, I was released from my honorary position.

It was time to survey the rest of the tent, but, I was already far gone in 'cheese heaven'.


Philip S. Kampe

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